Last week I went to the launch of the Bath College Academy of Business and it once again reminded me of the importance of companies getting involved in the business of education.
Over the years one of the most common complaints about young people emerging from our Colleges or Universities was that they may have been well qualified with a range of certificates to their names, but lacking anything in the way of knowledge of the workplace.
I am pleased to say that our College and both our Universities have really addressed that problem and lay great stress on ensuring their students fully understand what employment is all about, beyond the particulars of the subjects they are studying.
The latest initiative in the College has been to create a Futures Hub in their fine Roper Building, where students have a chance to learn and think about the elements that will make them employable. Sometimes it’s the simple things that make a difference such as turning up on time, looking presentable, getting on well with workmates and having a desire to do as good a job as possible.
However, the Colleges and Universities can only do so much on their own. What they all need is businesses to become engaged with their work. That might mean providing well planned work experience sessions, or setting up stand alone projects. But if that sounds too time consuming there are other things you can do, such as volunteer to go along and talk to students about your line of business, take part in mock interviews or even just make yourself available to have an informal chat with a student who is considering a career in your area of expertise.
You might consider using it to your direct benefit as a way of developing your own staff and you will certainly build up a knowledge of talented young people who could become a talent pool for the future.
But most important of all is you will be doing something which will benefit our whole business community by increasing the number of enthusiastic and skilled young people who will fill a wide range of jobs in our growing economy.
Our Universities and College are always keen to hear from businesses who want to help them prepare the next generation. Why don’t you give them a call today. You are sure to receive a warm reception.